Childhood Obesity in America
English Composition II
November 3, 2012
More and more American children are becoming overweight or obese. Years ago an elementary classroom may have one kid who was overweight but today that has drastically changed. We have a whole new generation of kids who are consuming much more “junk food” and eating fast food 3 or 4 nights a week and they are not as active as kids used to be. These kids are consuming things like Monster energy drinks, Starbucks coffee, Mountain Dew, chips, candy bars and more on a daily basis. Many of them are coach potatoes, video gamers, social networkers, texters, etc. We need to get this new generation of children to become more active. They also need to be educated on how to be aware of what they are eating and teach them to eat the so called “junk food” in moderation and incorporate more nutritious foods in his or her diet as well as maintain an active lifestyle. Childhood obesity is on the rise due to the many changes in our society and we need to do something to prevent it before it gets out of hand.
Keywords: obesity, children, overweight
Childhood Obesity in America
Childhood obesity is becoming a problem across the globe and has been declared an epidemic in America. Children are consuming more calories than ever and many are not as active as earlier generations. For the first time in the history of this country, young people are less healthy and less prepared to take their places in society than were their parents. Diabetes is on the rise, American kids are getting sicker, becoming sadder and getting fatter. (W. Sears, M.D., M. Sears, R.N., J. Sears, M.D., R. Sears, M.D., 2006) Many of you probably remember running around the neighborhood when you were younger playing things like tag, hide and seek, capture the flag and many other outdoor games. Then you would get called in to eat, only to go right back out to play until it was time to come in for the night. Now days you are more likely to find children indoors in front of the television, on the computer, texting a friend or playing a video game, not to mention they may be eating an unhealthy snack, such as a cookie or a bag of chips. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12.5 million children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. Obesity is a good indicator of unhealthy lifestyles, characterized by over-eating and lack of physical activity. Who is responsible for this you might ask. Is it the parents, the schools, fast food restaurants, technology, a down economy or even the food industry? We cannot single out and put the blame on any one of these. However, each one can be a contributing factor and the combination of them certainly could be part of the cause. Let’s take a look at how each of them impacts our children’s health. Let’s start with the parents.
As I stated earlier, years ago children were outside playing much of the day. However, now parents are not letting the children out to play until they are much older because they worry about their safety. Part of the reason for this is that the world has changed. Ever hear the phrase “It takes a village”? Well years ago neighbors looked out for each other and their children. Now everyone minds their own business and keeps to him or herself. Even the cars going through the residential neighborhoods do not seem to be as cautious about watching for children. Maybe this has to do with the fact that children are not as often outside playing as they used to be.
Families seem to be so much busier today than in the past. Most families are living on two incomes instead of one, which means there is not a stay at home parent making home cooked meals everyday. Not to mention families are having less and less meals together at the table. Instead parents are tired and are relying on quicker meals like frozen pizza’s, banquet chicken, corndogs,...
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